Thursday, November 4, 2010

House o' Dreams

A little girl in a trailer court mentally constructs a big white house. She picks out wallpaper and hangs pictures in the gallery of dreams. And when life looms sordid and stained she mentally retreats into her "castle in Spain" and lives a perfect life.
Because if you have the perfect house the perfect life can't be far away.
And didn't even GOD want a home, an elaborate one at that?
Because of the grace of God, I ended up with a loving husband who likes victorian homes and is partial to the color white. So unlike many other dreams, this one came true.

When we were in Hawaii, Mom watched the five persian cats that let us live here. She was distraught with the fact that Lancelot had gotten out and stayed out all night. Four days after we got home we found fleas on the cats, on all of them. If you had been a spectator outside our house you would have been amused. I screamed, "Throw them outside!" We have four doors on the main floor and several of them opened at once and cats came shooting out. The house literally exploded cats. I vacuumed furiously all evening and muttered something about, "whitened sepulchers."

Several days later we moved Grant's big frog inside. We gave it twenty-five big crickets to eat. We were a little alarmed to find that the crickets could escape, and did. I suppose it didn't matter so much when they were on the front porch, but in my basement, it mattered. I began to wonder if the plagues were repeating themselves.

I began to think about how different my house looked on the outside, to what it really was on the inside. Because aside from insects, there are other infestations in this house. There is sin, because this house is inhabited by sinful people. No amount of vacuuming will fix this.

Admittedly, I'm a writher. Meaning, I have these 3AM moments where I lay writhing in silent shame, or misery, or anger, as the case may be. My faults and failings dance the conga before my eyes and I ask, "how could I have ___?" How could I? As if, normally, I'm exceptional, and those failing are few and incomprehensible. My thinking here is being renewed.

It should never be, "how could I?" but "how couldn't I?" because that answer leads to Christ. My flesh is what is it is, utterly sinful and selfish, and nothing I do should surprise me very much. BUT I am being renewed, in knowledge, in the image of my Creator.
I am eager for that work.

Brother Lawrence's words inspire:
"When I fail in my duty I simply admit my faults, saying to God, 'I shall never do otherwise if you leave me to myself. It is You who must stop my falling and it is You who must amend that which is amiss.' After such praying I allow myself no further uneasiness about my faults."

I am learning to shrug my shoulders at 3AM. To say yes, that was me in my flesh but here I am laying in the arms of Christ. I am His. I am a work in progress, just like my house.
I understand now that the little girl in the trailer court was dreaming of perfection. A life of quiet and peace, a life with no misunderstandings, no hurt feelings, no bad choices. A life of coordinating furniture and a mommy who spoke sweet and soft. A life of beautiful friendships and an ideal marriage and diaperless children who wiped themselves.
"But when perfection comes, the imperfect disappears." I Cor 13:10
I realize now that I was longing for Heaven. The homes we build here are only temporary and I'm pretty sure that as much as I love this house, I'll be happy to trade it in for the one that's being prepared.
"In my Father's house are many room; if it were not so, I would have told you. I am going there to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am." John 14:2,3

And that, will be home. No fleas. No vacuuming. No writhing. Home with Jesus. Home.

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